Rick Astley has urged people across South Devon to avoid the embarrassment of mishearing lyrics by having regular audiology tests.
This comes as the music legend has linked up with Specsavers to re-record his iconic hit single Never Gonna Give You Up using lyrics people have misheard for years – including “you wouldn’t catch nits from any other guy” and “your aunt’s been naked”.
By launching the Misheard Version of his greatest hit, Specsavers aims to highlight how hearing loss can often be ignored for years and encourage people to take action if they notice any changes.
Rick reveals he is living with some hearing loss and follows new research from Specsavers which found Rick’s smash hit is one of the nation’s top-10 most misheard songs. Thousands of music-lovers admit to singing the wrong words, with 5% of people in the South West thinking Astley was ‘Never gonna run around with dessert spoons’.
The research also found that one in six blame mishearing song lyrics on struggling to hear properly, despite over half (55%) confessing to never having their hearing tested. What’s more, 40% of South West people find conversations with background noise difficult and over a quarter (26%) in the region say they can’t hear the TV or radio properly, which are common early signs of hearing loss.
Rick says: “I had great fun re-recording the song with Specsavers and discovering the amusing ways people have misheard my song. It felt weird singing different lyrics but I’m pleased to be raising awareness of hearing loss, as there is still a stigma around this.
“I’ve noticed my hearing changing over time, so recently I had a hearing test at Specsavers. It showed I have some hearing loss, which I was not fully aware of. It’s probably a result of playing the drums as a kid and working in the music industry, so they’ve given me my first hearing aids.
“It’s important to remember that everyone’s hearing is different. Some people lose high notes, others lose low frequency sounds.
“I’d encourage anyone to get their hearing tested if they notice any changes, so they don’t lose the sounds or music they love.”
Specsavers has partnered with Rick to re-record the iconic hit, to encourage people in South Devon to think about their hearing health so they can spot the signs and take action if they are struggling.
According to the research, one in three South West people has noticed changes in their hearing over the past 10 years, but more than half (51%) have taken no action to address these changes.
Other studies have shown that people often wait 10 years before addressing changes in their hearing , despite the help readily available on high streets across the country. This can result in a reduced quality of life, difficulty communicating and feelings of isolation.
For South West respondents with hearing issues, coping mechanisms include nodding or saying ‘yes’ (41%), leaning closer (39%), or awkwardly laughing (31%). Furthermore, 46% admit to asking people to frequently repeat themselves, which 66% confessed to finding embarrassing.
Commenting on the findings, TV’s Dr Michael Mosley says: “Hearing loss affects millions of people worldwide, but often goes undiagnosed and untreated and that is a terrible shame because it often leads to social isolation. If you notice any changes in your hearing, don’t wait 10 years to get checked. Hearing change is completely normal and is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about.”
Alongside embarrassment, reasons given for not going for a hearing test include not feeling like it was needed (49%), being too busy (9%) and because no one else they know gets their hearing checked (7%).
Specsavers audiologist Gurleen Brar, who conducted Rick’s hearing test, comments: “Specsavers understands that we all hear differently, because we care for more ears across the UK than anyone else. We believe that everyone deserves to hear life in their own unique way, and we are determined to help close the 10-year gap that exists currently.
“The quicker we understand the way that we hear, the quicker we can act when we notice changes which will help minimise any long-term impact.”
If you think your hearing is changing, don’t wait – book a free hearing test at Specsavers to stay in tune with the sounds you love. Early intervention can transform lives, and Specsavers hearing experts will help you find the right hearing aids to suit your needs and lifestyle.
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